Mount Eden Children's Academy
BRONX NY 10452 Map
Mount Eden Children's Academy
Extended PK hours offered: Contact program about extended hours.
Mount Eden Children's Academy, opened in 2012, has quickly become the most sought after school in District 9. The modern red brick building on Jerome Avenue stands in contrast to the scrappy auto repair shops under the elevated tracks of the number 4 subway line. The New Settlement Community Campus, which houses the school, features a dance studio, rooftop garden and five-lane swimming pool.
Teachers and administrators greet kids outside in the morning and welcome parents. "From the moment my daughter entered pre-k it's been a really amazing experience for me," said a mother of two. "I never feel shut out in any way. The principal is always around."
Principal Jessica Torres Maheia is a Bronx native. Formerly an elementary school teacher, assistant principal and literacy coach, she and her staff worked with a literacy coach and consultant to write the language lessons used in the younger grades. She wanted the school to have four periods of science a week with a science teacher, because, she said, it's hard for classroom teachers to fit it in and to "build the expertise needed for teaching science."
Children get math twice a day: first is the introduction and practice of a concept and second is practice incorporating "higher order" mathematical thinking. For example, children may decide which strategy is best to use to solve a subtraction problem from several choices, or figure out how subtraction relates to addition. Children read four or five books, as a class, each year, in addition to books they choose. They also study phonics, grammar and vocabulary.
Classes are large and children are divided into ability groups for reading lessons to make sure they get the help they need. Almost every classroom has two adults: The school hires assistants to work in larger classes and there are paraprofessionals who work one-on-one with a student with a disability.
Relations between students, principal and staff are warm and genuine. The principal often checks in on students who struggle with behavior. These kids may take a break or eat a late breakfast if it helps them get through the day without a breakdown in behavior, she said.
We saw lots of play and activity in the younger grades. There are three pre-kindergartens in this still-growing school. Most children are able to move into one of the two kindergartens because class size in kindergarten is a little larger.
As for physical activity, there is a gymnasium, a pool and outside play space. "It's been nice to have a pool," said a parent. On cold days, for recess, kids "stay inside and watch movies or go to the gym," the parent said.
The campus also houses the Comprehensive Model School Project, which serves grades 6–12. The two schools occupy a dedicated portion of the building that is managed independently from the community center.
SPECIAL EDUCATION: Unlike most schools, which offer an ICT (integrated co-teaching) model, Mount Eden offers only small "self-contained" classrooms for kids with special needs. "Kids in general education can function in the big classrooms with counseling, physical therapy, occupational therapy and/or speech services," Maheia said. "Others need a small setting." Placements are based on need. We saw a high-achiever in a wheelchair in a general education room with an aide called a "paraprofessional." Kids in the self-contained classrooms were lively, active and interested.
ADMISSIONS: Unzoned. Opened to District 9. There are far more applicants than seats available. Very few spots open in the upper grades. (Lydie Raschka, March 2016; updated by phone, August 2016)
At a glance
Number of Students 358
Average Daily Attendance 96%
Safety & vibe
How many teachers say bullying is a problem at school?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?100% 81% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
ARE CLASSES BIG?
Number of students in an average kindergarten classNA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Number of students in an average fifth grade classNA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
DO TEACHERS LIKE THE SCHOOL?
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?100% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many teachers would recommend this school to other parents?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many students are chronically absent?11% 23% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam
Percent of 3rd, 4th & 5th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state ela exam
Percent of 4th graders who scored 3 or 4 on the state science exam
Does the school encourage family involvement?
How many parents say they were invited to an event at the school at least 3 times in the last school year?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Do parents like the school?
How many parents would recommend this school to other parents?NA NA CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Special ed & ELL
How well does this school serve students with disabilities?
This school offers self-contained classes.
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 8% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of self-contained students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 2% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
This school does not offer team teaching (ict).
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 19% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of ICT students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state math exam:NA 17% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
Percent of SETSS students who scored 3 or 4 on the state ELA exam:NA 9% CITYWIDE AVERAGE
How many parents say students with disabilities are included in all activities?
How many teachers say students with special needs are educated in the least restrictive environment appropriate?
How many parents of students with ieps say this school offers a wide enough variety of services and activities for their children’s needs?